USD’s Nilsen A Semifinalist For Bowerman Trophy
Finalists Announced Next Week
NEW ORLEANS, LA—South Dakota sophomore Chris Nilsen has been named a semifinalist for The Bowerman as announced by the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association (USTFCCCA) on Thursday.
The Bowerman, dubbed the Heisman of collegiate track and field, is presented annually to the most outstanding male and female in the nation. The award debuted in 2009 and winners are announced at a ceremony in mid-December in conjunction with the USTFCCCA annual convention.
Nilsen became a two-time NCAA Champion in the pole vault last week. The sophomore vaulted 19 feet, 1 ½ inches, to break the NCAA Championships meet record by a centimeter. Nilsen owns four top-three finishes, including a pair of titles, at the NCAA Championships in his career.
A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Nilsen vaulted a career best of 19-2 ¾ at the Howard Wood Dakota Relays in May. That height ranks No. 1 in the United States and No. 4 in the world this season. With the mark, Nilsen also ranks fourth in NCAA history.
Nilsen broke the 19-foot barrier at five meets during 2018 (Nebraska Tune-Up, Clyde Littlefield Texas Relays, Howard Wood Dakota Relays, Summit League Championships, NCAA Championships). He captured 14 pole vault titles during the year and was named the USTFCCCA National Athlete of the Week three times. He also garnered USTFCCCA Midwest Indoor and Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year honors. Nilsen was named the Summit League Indoor Field Athlete of the Year and is a candidate for the Summit’s Outdoor Field Athlete of the Year award to be released next week.
Three finalists will be selected from this list by The Bowerman Advisory Board as the most outstanding male athletes during the 2018 collegiate track and field campaign. Those finalists will be announced next Thursday.
The Bowerman Men’s Semifinalists
Rai Benjamin, Southern California, Jr., Sprints/Hurdles
Denzel Comenentia, Georgia, Jr., Throws
Tim Duckworth, Kentucky, Sr., Multis
Elijah Hall, Houston, Sr., Sprints
Grant Holloway, Florida, So., Hurdles/Jumps
Josh Kerr, New Mexico, So., Middle Distance
Chris Nilsen, South Dakota, So., Pole Vault
Michael Norman, Southern California, So., Sprints
Anderson Peters, Mississippi State, RS-Fr., Throws
Michael Saruni, UTEP, So., Distance
-Release Courtesy USD Athletics